Passion, hard work, resilience, goodwill.
These are the themes that arose when we asked twenty individuals how their mothers have influenced and inspired them professionally.
If your mom has influenced or inspired your career, please share your story with us in the comments below.
Happy Mother’s Day!
How has your mom influenced & inspired your career?
“My mom told me a story of how she was getting on a bus to go to New York to become an actress when her boyfriend at the time drove up and begged her not to go. She wound up not going – and she didn’t even remember his name. As a result, she made sure I didn’t hold myself back from pursuing my dreams,” Staci Lawrence, Co-Founder of Flash Mob America
“My mother inspired my career by showing me how important it is to take on passion projects and really run with them if they are a good fit. She always showed passion and drive in any project she took on, big or small. Having a strong, driven, multi-talented woman in my surroundings has shaped me in so many ways, and I am so grateful,” Anne Dardick, President & Creative Director at Dot & Lil Bath & Body Inc.
“My mother is the iron in my belly. She fed and raised 3 girls on her own. She’d cook, clean, and even braid our hair, while working 70+ hour/week in a factory. She is a beast. She inspired me to fight and to reach for the sky, but most importantly she inspired me to work my butt off—I’ll never reach her gargantuan status, but her example fuels me everyday,” Melina Martinez, Director of Marketing at SimpliSafe Home Security
“I always recall as a child when I fell during a track meet and still came in third place. My mom said, ‘Even with a bloody knee and pain you never gave up and I will always be proud of you for that.’ Her words always gave me the drive to never give up and work hard in everything I do,” Deborah Rothschild,Entrepreneur
“When my mother passed away from cancer 4 years ago her dying words were, ‘Don’t do it for yourself.’ I replied, ‘Don’t do what?’ She said, ‘Anything.’ Then slipped into a brief coma and died. I was a pro jazz pianist at the time and I quit to start helping others. Since then, I have trained and affected the lives of over 22,000 people. I’ve kept my promise to her so far,” Paul Tobey, CEO of Training Business Pros
“At the age of 28 I had become so dissatisfied and unengaged in my chosen career of public relations. All I wanted to do was become a fitness instructor and inspire people to live healthier lifestyles. I thought my mother would be so upset, but, to my surprise, it was quite the opposite! She gave me her full support, and said that if this was my passion to follow through with it and don’t look back. So I left the comfort of a corporate job and a steady paycheck to begin life over as a struggling fitness instructor, often calling her in tears as I barely had enough to make ends meet, she would say if I gave my gift from my heart I would eventually be a star. Well, two years later, I am not struggling anymore and I am living my dream,” Ashley Patton, Yoga and Spin Instructor at YAS
“My mother is a fantastic role-model who, by raising six kids while getting a college degree and running several businesses, demonstrated how you can be a good parent and a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. She has supported my publishing career by being my biggest cheerleader, sharing ideas, and offering me honest feedback. Her unconditional love and support, as well as her subject matter expertise and connections, have been invaluable,” Danielle Rice, Publisher & Editor of Piedmont Family Magazine
“My mother, going from welfare to earning her law degree as a single-parent raising my late, mentally-challenged brother and my rebellious, bad-ss self, was an inspirational role model. Her drive and determination to overcome tough circumstances inspired me to do the same. I bounced back from being an at-risk teen who dropped out of high school and earned a college degree at 35. Now, I help others make lemonade out of their lemons too,” Nancy Stampahar, Consultant & Speaker at Silver Lining Solutions
“After years of traveling around the world, and sending my travel journals home to my mother to read, she asked me why I only wrote about the people I met and what I learned from them. She said she never knew what I saw or even where I was at the time I was writing. And it hit me that I only cared about stories about people, how we become who we are, and how our relationships change us as people. I knew then that I had to find a way to get paid to listen to stories about people, growth and relationships. Every day I get to live that dream. Thanks, mom. ” Steve Langerud, Workplace Consultant
“My mom inspired me by the way I was raised. Ethics, accountability, responsibility, truth. If I operated my life and business on those principles, I would attract the clients I wanted, work the way I wanted, and feel peaceful and successful. I have had four different businesses, and all have been conducted in that manner,” Dr. Gayle Carson, President of Carson Research Center
“When my job was an internship at best, my mom told me to make myself indispensable to the company. I could have become complacent and just did what they told me to do at work. But, on my mom’s persistence, I kept asking for more and more tasks at work and poked my nose in tasks outside my function. As a result, my company loved my eagerness and made me a full-time offer just a few months later!” Sharon Rosenblatt, Accessibility Partners, LLC
“Without my mother, I wouldn’t be living my dreams. She taught me the importance of creating my own opportunities. Most importantly, she encouraged me to believe that I CAN do the impossible. When others told me making a living as freelance writer was a silly child’s dream, she made me see otherwise. Thanks to her, I am doing the impossible and loving it!” Terri Huggins, Journalist & Freelance Writer
“My Mom passed almost three years ago but she inspired me to live a freedom-based life and to take advantage of opportunities when they came up. We lived on an island during the summer, traveled during the school year (not on vacation time) and she supported me as I expressed my creativity and fashion sense … My Mom was an entrepreneur and we loved the freedom she had, and enjoyed the lifestyle both she and my Dad provided. This inspired me to raise my two daughters this way. Now grown up, (22 and 26) they seek the same lifestyle. I’m honoring my Mom, Aphrodite (who was indeed a Goddess of Love), with this story,” Robin Samora , Founder of Let’s Make You Shine
“Mom’s an Okie and I’m a Grape of Wrath. She gave me Tenacity and Stubbornness,” Neven Gibbs
“What I appreciate most about my Mom is that she is a genuinely kind human being. She’s always there for me when I need a listening ear or sound advice when it comes to my personal life or professional career. It could be 5 a.m. and she’s ready to listen. She pushes me to succeed, elevates me to reach my goals, and paints a vivid and tangible picture of success in my mind… Whether it be reviewing my Master’s thesis, conducting a mock interview over the phone, or buying me a new professional wardrobe to look presentable, she’s always got my back,” Sojourner Marable Grimmett, Assistant Director of Student Access & Programs & Electronic Campus at Southern Regional Education Board
“My mom has inspired my career by teaching me from a very early age that the most important contribution we can make in this life — and the greatest success we can enjoy — comes from helping others achieve their goals. My mother demonstrated this value every day… She is the reason my profession has become helping others realize their dreams,” Kim Nylander Herrera, Professional Career Coach & Founder/Owner of Navitas Human Capital Consulting
“Watching my mother struggle to raise me on her own, while going out of town to college at dawn before coming back to work in a factory all day, then raise me at night, has definitely influenced my career. Not only do I get my work ethic from her — watching the toll that all that took on her, even though I was very young, is a memory that drives me every day to do good in the world — but she always told me every chance she got to ‘do what makes you happy, not what makes you money’ … One day I can only hope to help her break free and do what SHE loves every day, rather than what pays the bills. That’s how I’ll know I’ve been successful,” Michelle Gower, Owner of Gower Power Consulting, LLC
“My mother taught me that decorating didn’t need to be motivated by money and that by relying on your own creativity and vision, each home improvement was a selfless act of love. For my mother, making a home where her five children felt safe and where our spirits could soar was as important as keeping us fed and clothed,” Terry Grahl, CEO & Visionary for Enchanted Makeovers
“Martha Posca, my mother, took on the enormous task of educating her five children, and while such an endeavor may seem daunting to most, Martha Posca excelled in not only the art of teaching, but in patience and a quick-mindedness. It was her vigilant encouragement, advice, and goal-orientation that convinced my brother and me that we could, at the ages of 13 and 15, write a novel together, which through Martha Posca’s careful examination and suggested edits was speedily grabbed by a publishing company, much to our delight. We are ingratiated to our mother for her steadfastness and perseverance, and she still presents an excellent example of a mother who is not so far above her children that she can’t stoop down to their level and tell them the difference between where, wear, and were,” Deborah Posca, Author
“From a song called Greatest Gift, inspired by and written for my mom: ‘Through this life you are my guiding light. I am grateful for a constant sprite / Wisdom shared with me ignites a luminosity, free to express my curiosity / Your ever present love inspires me to heed my call / Your love is the greatest gift of all,’” Rosemarie Ashley, Marketing Director at Gen-Ray Records